Lighting

Kitchen upgrade and more with under-cabinet lights

Thank you to Parmida LED for sponsoring this video! Here’s the link to the ultra-thin under-cabinet lights I used in the kitchen mini-makeover, my entryway and my home office update: https://bit.ly/eysundercabinetlights

Thank you to Parmida LED for sponsoring this video! Here’s the link to the ultra-thin under-cabinet lights I used in the kitchen mini-makeover, my entryway and my home office update: https://bit.ly/eysundercabinetlights

DIY small office makeover – home office inspiration

You will get lots of DIY renter-friendly home office decor ideas in this video, including how to have a hidden whiteboard, and office organization ideas, especially if your office space is very small. 

Here are some of the items I used in this makeover (most of the wood I already had):

Pendant lamp: http://bit.ly/pendantlampwood

Plug-in Lamp kit: http://bit.ly/pluginpendantkit 

Magnetic whiteboard: https://amzn.to/2PetzfW

Smart LED light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2YCpu8P 

Barn door hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels): http://amzn.to/2npLxTd 

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long):  https://thd.co/2zFvZvU 

Stainless steel straws (for spacers): http://amzn.to/2BBvHrr 

Hacksaw: http://amzn.to/2kgMxYh 

Mini Pipe cutter: http://amzn.to/2AO0MLl 

Regular Barn Door Hardware: http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

* some of these product links may be affiliate links

You will get lots of DIY renter-friendly home office decor ideas in this video, including how to have a hidden whiteboard, and office organization ideas, especially if your office space is very small. 

Here are some of the items I used in this makeover (most of the wood I already had):

Pendant lamp: http://bit.ly/pendantlampwood

Plug-in Lamp kit: http://bit.ly/pluginpendantkit 

Magnetic whiteboard: https://amzn.to/2PetzfW

Smart LED light bulbs: https://amzn.to/2YCpu8P 

Barn door hardware:

Patio Door roller kit (for wheels): http://amzn.to/2npLxTd 

Aluminum flat bar (¼” thick 8ft long):  https://thd.co/2zFvZvU 

Stainless steel straws (for spacers): http://amzn.to/2BBvHrr 

Hacksaw: http://amzn.to/2kgMxYh 

Mini Pipe cutter: http://amzn.to/2AO0MLl 

Regular Barn Door Hardware: http://amzn.to/2jECUyY

* some of these product links may be affiliate links

Easy renter-friendly lighting upgrade, no electrician needed!

Thank you to the folks at Signify for introducing me to the amazing Philips Hue smart LED light bulbs with Bluetooth – such an easy way to customize your home lighting. As a renter, these lightbulbs are the perfect solution to upgrade the way I control the lights in my bedroom!  And I like the fact that I’ll be able to reuse them in the next home I move into!

Thank you to the folks at Signify for introducing me to the amazing Philips Hue smart LED light bulbs with Bluetooth – such an easy way to customize your home lighting. As a renter, these lightbulbs are the perfect solution to upgrade the way I control the lights in my bedroom!  And I like the fact that I’ll be able to reuse them in the next home I move into!

DIY Murphy bed / wall bed with hardware kit & DIY LED lights

The 200 ft2 rental studio apartment I’m working on needed a Murphy bed so I built one with an industrial inspired interior complete with lighting. I did it using basic hand tools (no table saw or track saw), and without a workshop or fancy woodworking tools. It’s only the start for this studio apartment, lots more projects to come!

My Murphy bed hardware kit is from https://murphybeddepot.com/ and here’s some of the handy tools and supplies I used to build this Murphy Bed: 

WORX portable work bench

WORX cordless circular saw

Mini clamps

Carpenter square

Speed square

Veneer edge trimmer

Drill

Sander

Wood edging – 250 ft for $28

Stain (Briarsmoke)

Inside color: BEHR Butter Rum

The 200 ft2 rental studio apartment I’m working on needed a Murphy bed so I built one with an industrial inspired interior complete with lighting. I did it using basic hand tools (no table saw or track saw), and without a workshop or fancy woodworking tools. It’s only the start for this studio apartment, lots more projects to come!

My Murphy bed hardware kit is from https://murphybeddepot.com/ and here’s some of the handy tools and supplies I used to build this Murphy Bed: 

WORX portable work bench

WORX cordless circular saw

Mini clamps

Carpenter square

Speed square

Veneer edge trimmer

Drill

Sander

Wood edging – 250 ft for $28

Stain (Briarsmoke)

Inside color: BEHR Butter Rum

#Engineeryourspace inspired spotlight: The DIY Drum Shade

Eight years ago, I created Engineer Your Space and launched my YouTube Channel and blog with 4 videos. One of those videos was titled: “how to make a DIY drum shade” – I wasn’t sure when I published it if anyone would watch a 15 minute video about making a drum shade, and at first nobody did. Then a few months in, something amazing happened: Apartment Therapy featured my project on their website and I got invited to give a presentation about it at their design evenings in NYC. 

Apartment Therapy Design Evening 4-11-2012

Just like that, my channel and blog started getting noticed and people started watching. Eight years later, that video continues to get thousands of views every month and now has over 750,000 views. Crazy! It’s amazing to me that the content continues to resonate with people (despite the poor video quality and my beginner skills at video production!). I guess I’m not the only person out there looking for an inexpensive, electrician free way to deal with unsightly ceiling light fixtures. To this day, I continue to receive pictures of custom drum shades that people have made. This gorgeous shade was hand crafted by Libby, from Victoria, BC, to cover up an old ceiling fixture in a bedroom.

Libby Victoria BC drum shade

This beautiful drum shade is the creation of Maria which she made to upgrade a pendant lamp in her dining room.

Drum-shade-by-Maria (1) copy

I love seeing these beautiful creations with different colors and textures because I still remember the happiness I felt when I covered up my ugly lighting fixtures with something beautiful that reflected my style and personality. It was a very small thing, but the impact it had on how I felt about my home was huge. It was such an empowering feeling to know that even as a renter, I could also have a beautiful and functional home that was just right for me. I didn’t have to wait until I owned a home or spend tons of money, I could have it right now! 

NYC-custom-DIY-Drum-shade

There is so much joy that comes from seeing beyond the flaws and limitations of your space and my hope with Engineer Your Space is to empower everyone to see the possibilities for making themselves at home no matter if they own or rent,  how big or how small their space and budget are. With just a little bit of imagination and elbow grease, you CAN have a home that is both beautiful and functional, a home that represents who you are, and ultimately a home you love.  

Keep sharing your #engineeryourspace inspired project by sending me your pics, along with a brief description, via DM on Instagram or at info@engineeryourspace.com. I love seeing what you’ve created! And if you want to see more #engineeryourspace inspired projects, check out my Pinterest board here. 

Here’s to making yourself at home, no matter where you live!

 

Eight years ago, I created Engineer Your Space and launched my YouTube Channel and blog with 4 videos. One of those videos was titled: “how to make a DIY drum shade” – I wasn’t sure when I published it if anyone would watch a 15 minute video about making a drum shade, and at first nobody did. Then a few months in, something amazing happened: Apartment Therapy featured my project on their website and I got invited to give a presentation about it at their design evenings in NYC. 

Apartment Therapy Design Evening 4-11-2012

Just like that, my channel and blog started getting noticed and people started watching. Eight years later, that video continues to get thousands of views every month and now has over 750,000 views. Crazy! It’s amazing to me that the content continues to resonate with people (despite the poor video quality and my beginner skills at video production!). I guess I’m not the only person out there looking for an inexpensive, electrician free way to deal with unsightly ceiling light fixtures. To this day, I continue to receive pictures of custom drum shades that people have made. This gorgeous shade was hand crafted by Libby, from Victoria, BC, to cover up an old ceiling fixture in a bedroom.

Libby Victoria BC drum shade

This beautiful drum shade is the creation of Maria which she made to upgrade a pendant lamp in her dining room.

Drum-shade-by-Maria (1) copy

I love seeing these beautiful creations with different colors and textures because I still remember the happiness I felt when I covered up my ugly lighting fixtures with something beautiful that reflected my style and personality. It was a very small thing, but the impact it had on how I felt about my home was huge. It was such an empowering feeling to know that even as a renter, I could also have a beautiful and functional home that was just right for me. I didn’t have to wait until I owned a home or spend tons of money, I could have it right now! 

NYC-custom-DIY-Drum-shade

There is so much joy that comes from seeing beyond the flaws and limitations of your space and my hope with Engineer Your Space is to empower everyone to see the possibilities for making themselves at home no matter if they own or rent,  how big or how small their space and budget are. With just a little bit of imagination and elbow grease, you CAN have a home that is both beautiful and functional, a home that represents who you are, and ultimately a home you love.  

Keep sharing your #engineeryourspace inspired project by sending me your pics, along with a brief description, via DM on Instagram or at info@engineeryourspace.com. I love seeing what you’ve created! And if you want to see more #engineeryourspace inspired projects, check out my Pinterest board here. 

Here’s to making yourself at home, no matter where you live!

 

Easily Reversible Basement Renovation

Damaged walls and a worn out stained carpet were just some of the challenges in this makeover but with lots of creative and inexpensive projects that are also easily reversible, is was transformed from a dark and neglected basement into a bright and inspiring creative space where I can experiment and test out new design ideas.

Here are more links to some of the products I used in the various projects from the video:

Carpet project:

IKEA floor mats

Carpet tape

Wall panel lighting

LED lights

Corrugated transparent plastic

Unfortunately, the furniture (Slim sofa) is discontinued.

Damaged walls and a worn out stained carpet were just some of the challenges in this makeover but with lots of creative and inexpensive projects that are also easily reversible, is was transformed from a dark and neglected basement into a bright and inspiring creative space where I can experiment and test out new design ideas.

Here are more links to some of the products I used in the various projects from the video:

Carpet project:

IKEA floor mats

Carpet tape

Wall panel lighting

LED lights

Corrugated transparent plastic

Unfortunately, the furniture (Slim sofa) is discontinued.

Easy ways to upgrade your rental bathroom

Even if you’re renting, you’ll see that you’re not stuck with your less than ideal bathroom! These ideas I’m sharing with you only take minutes to do and best of all, they are easy to take with you when you move out, so you’ll get lots of mileage out of your investment.

Here are some of the items you’ll need for the upgrades:

Handheld shower head: High end, Budget model ($20)

LED bulbs

Over the toilet storage cabinet

Stone knobs:

Cap nuts (bronze)  and bolts (bronze) or

Silver barrel nuts (same as cap nuts) and bolts (~$5 for 20 of each) (these are metric and the bolts are 20mm long – so make sure this is long enough for the thickness of your drawers)

J&B Weld Epoxy glue

More details on this project and other ideas for knobs on my blog here.

 

Even if you’re renting, you’ll see that you’re not stuck with your less than ideal bathroom! These ideas I’m sharing with you only take minutes to do and best of all, they are easy to take with you when you move out, so you’ll get lots of mileage out of your investment.

Here are some of the items you’ll need for the upgrades:

Handheld shower head: High end, Budget model ($20)

LED bulbs

Over the toilet storage cabinet

Stone knobs:

Cap nuts (bronze)  and bolts (bronze) or

Silver barrel nuts (same as cap nuts) and bolts (~$5 for 20 of each) (these are metric and the bolts are 20mm long – so make sure this is long enough for the thickness of your drawers)

J&B Weld Epoxy glue

More details on this project and other ideas for knobs on my blog here.

 

Camouflaging a dated bathroom light fixture

When I was working on giving a friend’s small bathroom a facelift, I needed a quick inexpensive way to update a very dated lighting fixture that also happened to be off-center over the vanity. Since replacing it wasn’t in the budget, I opted for camouflaging the fixture with a DIY light cover that cost less than $15 to make, all without using any power tools! 

Lighting fixture after

Here’s what the fixture looked like before – very dated, to say the least, and off-center over the vanity.

Old off-centered lighting fixture_edited-2

You can watch this video of how to make it or follow the steps below:

Step 1: Make the structure for the new cover. Here’s what I used to make the structure:

1/4″ x 6″ poplar boards

3/4″ thick square wood dowels

I cut the boards into 3 sections (2 x 4.5″ and 1 x18″) and cut the dowels into 4 pieces (4 x 5.5″) using a hand saw. I used wood glue to attach the square dowels to join the front to the sides (Painter’s tape helps to hold the pieces together while the glue dries).

Connecting the side to the front wood boards_edited-1

Then I glued the other 2 dowel pieces to the back of the sides.

Gluing back dowel pieces_edited-1

Step 2: Paint or stain the wood

Here’s what I used as a finish for the wood:

Chalk paint (sheepskin)

Wood tint

White wax

Plaid products for finishing wood_edited-1

I painted the wood with 2 coats of the paint, then brushed on a coat of the stain and then protected the surface with a coat of the white wax.

Finish for wood - waxing_edited-1

Step 3: Make the light diffuser: Here’s what I used to make it:

Thin linen like fabric

Plexiglass (Acrylic) sheet for diffuser (11”x14” ⅛” thick)

Mod Podge

Double-sided tape

I placed the fabric on top of the non-glare side of the acrylic panel and soaked it with MOD PODGE making sure the fabric is soaked through.  

Gluing fabric to acrylic panel with mod podge_edited-2

I let it dry and trimmed off the excess along the edges with a utility knife. 

Trimming off fabric from acrylic panel

Then I glued it to the structure using double sided tape.

Acrylic panel installed to the back of the lighting fixture cover_edited-1

Step 5: Installing the new cover.

I removed the old cover and placed 3M command strips on either side of it to hang the new cover so that it would be centered over the vanity. The new cover is very light so the strips are fine to hold it and this avoids having to make holes in the wall (but you could also use brackets to attach it to the wall). I didn’t have a level handy so I ended up using an app on my smart phone to make sure the fixture was level!

3m command strips to hang the new cover_edited-1Using phone level to install light

Bottom view of new centered lighting fixture_edited-1 The new cover completely hides the existing fixture and it’s now perfectly centered! So much better than what was there before! 
After-Right-side-vertical-watermarked-high-res
You can watch the entire bathroom makeover in this video here, enjoy!
 
 

 

When I was working on giving a friend’s small bathroom a facelift, I needed a quick inexpensive way to update a very dated lighting fixture that also happened to be off-center over the vanity. Since replacing it wasn’t in the budget, I opted for camouflaging the fixture with a DIY light cover that cost less than $15 to make, all without using any power tools! 

Lighting fixture after

Here’s what the fixture looked like before – very dated, to say the least, and off-center over the vanity.

Old off-centered lighting fixture_edited-2

You can watch this video of how to make it or follow the steps below:

Step 1: Make the structure for the new cover. Here’s what I used to make the structure:

1/4″ x 6″ poplar boards

3/4″ thick square wood dowels

I cut the boards into 3 sections (2 x 4.5″ and 1 x18″) and cut the dowels into 4 pieces (4 x 5.5″) using a hand saw. I used wood glue to attach the square dowels to join the front to the sides (Painter’s tape helps to hold the pieces together while the glue dries).

Connecting the side to the front wood boards_edited-1

Then I glued the other 2 dowel pieces to the back of the sides.

Gluing back dowel pieces_edited-1

Step 2: Paint or stain the wood

Here’s what I used as a finish for the wood:

Chalk paint (sheepskin)

Wood tint

White wax

Plaid products for finishing wood_edited-1

I painted the wood with 2 coats of the paint, then brushed on a coat of the stain and then protected the surface with a coat of the white wax.

Finish for wood - waxing_edited-1

Step 3: Make the light diffuser: Here’s what I used to make it:

Thin linen like fabric

Plexiglass (Acrylic) sheet for diffuser (11”x14” ⅛” thick)

Mod Podge

Double-sided tape

I placed the fabric on top of the non-glare side of the acrylic panel and soaked it with MOD PODGE making sure the fabric is soaked through.  

Gluing fabric to acrylic panel with mod podge_edited-2

I let it dry and trimmed off the excess along the edges with a utility knife. 

Trimming off fabric from acrylic panel

Then I glued it to the structure using double sided tape.

Acrylic panel installed to the back of the lighting fixture cover_edited-1

Step 5: Installing the new cover.

I removed the old cover and placed 3M command strips on either side of it to hang the new cover so that it would be centered over the vanity. The new cover is very light so the strips are fine to hold it and this avoids having to make holes in the wall (but you could also use brackets to attach it to the wall). I didn’t have a level handy so I ended up using an app on my smart phone to make sure the fixture was level!

3m command strips to hang the new cover_edited-1Using phone level to install light

Bottom view of new centered lighting fixture_edited-1 The new cover completely hides the existing fixture and it’s now perfectly centered! So much better than what was there before! 
After-Right-side-vertical-watermarked-high-res
You can watch the entire bathroom makeover in this video here, enjoy!
 
 

 

Bathroom Lighting: Quick fix to update a dated bathroom vanity light

I needed a quick inexpensive way to update a very dated bathroom lighting fixture in a bathroom without replacing it. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the fixture wasn’t centered over the vanity. My solution was to make a cover to hide the existing fixture – it cost less than $15 to make, and I didn’t have to use any power tools!

Here’s some of the things I used to make the light cover:

Light Diffuser:

Plexiglass (Acrylic) sheet for diffuser (11”x14” ⅛” thick):

Mod Podge:

Cover paint finish:

Chalk paint (sheepskin) 

Wood tint 

White wax

I needed a quick inexpensive way to update a very dated bathroom lighting fixture in a bathroom without replacing it. Adding to the challenge was the fact that the fixture wasn’t centered over the vanity. My solution was to make a cover to hide the existing fixture – it cost less than $15 to make, and I didn’t have to use any power tools!

Here’s some of the things I used to make the light cover:

Light Diffuser:

Plexiglass (Acrylic) sheet for diffuser (11”x14” ⅛” thick):

Mod Podge:

Cover paint finish:

Chalk paint (sheepskin) 

Wood tint 

White wax

IKEA HACK: easy DIY pendant lamp with ALANG lamp shade

My home office is very small and also happens to be in a rather dark corner of my apartment, so having proper lighting was very  important. I considered a desk lamp but given how small  my desk is, I decided to go with a pendant lamp instead. 

Finished-office-closer-view

Since I didn’t any more money in my budget to buy a lamp, I looked around the house to find something I could use to make one. I already had an extra HEMMA IKEA pendant lamp kit left over from another project and I also had an IKEA ALANG lamp I wasn’t using, and that’s when I got the idea to combine the two to make a pendant lamp. It literally took minutes to make and install!

IKEA-hack-ALANG-lamp-and-pendant-kit

First, I cut two pieces of wire, about 12 inches long, and bent them in half around the neck of the pendant lamp kit.  Then I placed the wires facing each other, under the lip on the socket and twisted the wires together.

IKEA-hack-pendant-lamp-twisting-wire

Next, I passed the cord of the pendant lamp kit through the hole in the middle of the lamp shade and twisted the 2 wire ends around the wire frame (this is to stabilize the lamp kit so it stays in place).

IKEA-hack-lamp-shade-pendant-lamp-twisting-wire-to-shade

You could leave the pendant lamp like this but I didn’t want to look at the bulb from underneath so I cut out a light diffuser from a flexible chopping mat I got at the dollar store. I traced the outside and inside outline of the lamp shade onto the chopping mat and then cut it slightly inside the outside line so it could rest on the rim of the lamp shade. 

IKEA-hack-lamp-shade-making-the-diffuser

To hang the lamp, I used the hook provided with the lamp kit and an anchor (I used a plumb bob to make sure it was centered above my desk – you can see how to use the plumb bob in this video where I share quick tips for hanging things).

hanging-hardware

The pendant lamp kit didn’t come with a switch so to turn the light on and off, I use a dimmer light switch that you can plug the lamp into. 

IKEA-hack-pendant-lamp

This couldn’t have been easier to do and the pendant lamp brightens up my office all day long, without having taking up any of my precious desk space! You can see more of my office DIY projects in this video, including how I turned my IKEA desk legs into a cat scratching post!:

 

My home office is very small and also happens to be in a rather dark corner of my apartment, so having proper lighting was very  important. I considered a desk lamp but given how small  my desk is, I decided to go with a pendant lamp instead. 

Finished-office-closer-view

Since I didn’t any more money in my budget to buy a lamp, I looked around the house to find something I could use to make one. I already had an extra HEMMA IKEA pendant lamp kit left over from another project and I also had an IKEA ALANG lamp I wasn’t using, and that’s when I got the idea to combine the two to make a pendant lamp. It literally took minutes to make and install!

IKEA-hack-ALANG-lamp-and-pendant-kit

First, I cut two pieces of wire, about 12 inches long, and bent them in half around the neck of the pendant lamp kit.  Then I placed the wires facing each other, under the lip on the socket and twisted the wires together.

IKEA-hack-pendant-lamp-twisting-wire

Next, I passed the cord of the pendant lamp kit through the hole in the middle of the lamp shade and twisted the 2 wire ends around the wire frame (this is to stabilize the lamp kit so it stays in place).

IKEA-hack-lamp-shade-pendant-lamp-twisting-wire-to-shade

You could leave the pendant lamp like this but I didn’t want to look at the bulb from underneath so I cut out a light diffuser from a flexible chopping mat I got at the dollar store. I traced the outside and inside outline of the lamp shade onto the chopping mat and then cut it slightly inside the outside line so it could rest on the rim of the lamp shade. 

IKEA-hack-lamp-shade-making-the-diffuser

To hang the lamp, I used the hook provided with the lamp kit and an anchor (I used a plumb bob to make sure it was centered above my desk – you can see how to use the plumb bob in this video where I share quick tips for hanging things).

hanging-hardware

The pendant lamp kit didn’t come with a switch so to turn the light on and off, I use a dimmer light switch that you can plug the lamp into. 

IKEA-hack-pendant-lamp

This couldn’t have been easier to do and the pendant lamp brightens up my office all day long, without having taking up any of my precious desk space! You can see more of my office DIY projects in this video, including how I turned my IKEA desk legs into a cat scratching post!:

 

How to make a wall lamp with a shelf

I have a very small living room which means I don’t have any room for end tables, so no room for table lamps and no room for floor lamps. So to add more lighting, I came up with this design for wall sconces that incorporate a shelf that can double as small end tables. I made them using standard materials from the hardware store and only a few hand tools like a drill and a hand saw.

Interested in making your own version of these wall sconces? I got most of the materials for this project at the hardware store and craft stores and here are links to the products I got online:

2″ iron-on wood edging

Light kit

Mica flakes

Pour-on high gloss finish

Join the Join the Insider Studio to get access to the detailed Project Guide, and additional videos that have extra tips and tricks that I learned from making these lamps that will help you when you make yours.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.33.49 PM

 

 

I have a very small living room which means I don’t have any room for end tables, so no room for table lamps and no room for floor lamps. So to add more lighting, I came up with this design for wall sconces that incorporate a shelf that can double as small end tables. I made them using standard materials from the hardware store and only a few hand tools like a drill and a hand saw.

Interested in making your own version of these wall sconces? I got most of the materials for this project at the hardware store and craft stores and here are links to the products I got online:

2″ iron-on wood edging

Light kit

Mica flakes

Pour-on high gloss finish

Join the Join the Insider Studio to get access to the detailed Project Guide, and additional videos that have extra tips and tricks that I learned from making these lamps that will help you when you make yours.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.33.49 PM

 

 

How to make a wall lamp with a shelf

I have a very small living room which means I don’t have any room for end tables, so no room for table lamps and no room for floor lamps. So to add more lighting, I came up with this design for wall sconces that incorporate a shelf that can double as small end tables. I made them using standard materials from the hardware store and only a few hand tools like a drill and a hand saw.

Interested in making your own version of these wall sconces? I got most of the materials for this project at the hardware store and craft stores and here are links to the products I got online:

2″ iron-on wood edging

Light kit

Mica flakes

Pour-on high gloss finish

Join the Join the Insider Studio to get access to the detailed Project Guide, and additional videos that have extra tips and tricks that I learned from making these lamps that will help you when you make yours.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.33.49 PM

I have a very small living room which means I don’t have any room for end tables, so no room for table lamps and no room for floor lamps. So to add more lighting, I came up with this design for wall sconces that incorporate a shelf that can double as small end tables. I made them using standard materials from the hardware store and only a few hand tools like a drill and a hand saw.

Interested in making your own version of these wall sconces? I got most of the materials for this project at the hardware store and craft stores and here are links to the products I got online:

2″ iron-on wood edging

Light kit

Mica flakes

Pour-on high gloss finish

Join the Join the Insider Studio to get access to the detailed Project Guide, and additional videos that have extra tips and tricks that I learned from making these lamps that will help you when you make yours.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 9.33.49 PM

DIY Bathroom lighting fixture makeover

I really wish I could renovate my bathroom, but being a renter, doing a complete gut job and rebuilding from scratch wasn’t a possibility. The lighting, however, was definitely something that I could upgrade without changing out the existing lighting fixture. So I came up with a plan to change out the shades and to make my fixture more energy efficient.

'Before'-web.jpg

The first thing I did was swap out the incandescent light bulbs for ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs.

                 'Incandescent-bulb'-web.jpg'LED-bulb'-web.jpg

When you consider that a single ENERGY STAR LED bulb can save $75 in electricity costs over its lifetime, it makes the initial investment worth it. The cost of LEDs has dropped in recent years and there are many rebates are available – so they are more affordable than ever.

To select my new light bulbs, I first looked for the ENERGY STAR mark on the packaging or in the description online: or in the description online:

This mark means that the bulbs have undergone extensive testing for things like light quality and color plus they have a warranty of a minimum of 3 years, longer than most electronics!

With so many choices, choosing lightbulbs can be confusing, but looking for the ENERGY STAR helps me know which bulbs are a better investment. I ended up choosing candelabra bulbs to go with the long and narrow shape of the lampshades I designed. Even though I don’t have a dimmer for this fixture, I still purchased dimmable light bulbs, that way if I ever install a dimmer in the future, I’ll still be able to use the same light bulbs. You’ll know that the ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs you’re purchasing are dimmable when you see the word “dimmable” on the packaging:

'Dimmable-package'-web.jpg

The second part of the makeover was to replace the old shades with new ones. You can buy ready-made replacement shades at Home Depot or Lowe’s but I couldn’t find anything I liked so I designed my own mini drum shades. Since I’m using LEDs, the good thing is they give off a lot less heat, so I’m able to make my own shades with a plastic cutting mat, and not worry about burning the shades.

'New-shade'-web.jpg

I made them with 4” wooden embroidery hoops (7), 3/4” and 2” wide iron-on edging (birch) and flexible chopping mats, which came out to about $ 15 per shade. I made the drum shades in 2 parts: 1) the rings and 2) the shade.

Part 1: Rings

To make the rings, I glued the inner hoops of the embroidery rings together using wood glue to make 2 stacks of 2 hoops and 1 stack of 3 hoops. Then I used an iron to cover the outside of the rings with iron-on wood edging and I sanded the edges and the inside of the rings.

'Step-1'-web.jpg

'Step-2'-web.jpg

'Step-3'-web.jpg

I chose to finish the rings with a grey wood stain from Plaid, giving a couple of coats. I let that dry for a couple of hours and then sealed in the finish with white wax, wiping off the excess wax with a clean, lint-free rag.

'Step-4'-web.jpg

'Step-5'-web.jpg

The last thing to do with the rings was to drill 3 holes with a 1/8” drill bit, equally spaced out, at the top of the wider rings. This is for the screws that will attach the shade to the existing fixture.

'Step-6'-web.jpg

Part 2: The shade

To make the shade, I cut the chopping mat in half horizontally and cut it again so that it’s about 1/2” longer than the circumference of the inside of the rings. Then I added masking tape to mark the location of the middle ring and added clear double sided tape to the seam and where the bottom and middle rings will go.

'Step-7'-web.jpg

The last step was to form the shade and put on the rings. Then it was just a matter of drilling holes in the shade material, putting in the machine screws and then attaching the shades to the existing fixture.

'Step-8'-web.jpg

'Step-9'-web.jpg

'Step-10'-web.jpg

I love the way the new shades turned out and the new ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs are perfect to light up my bathroom.

'After'-web.jpg

'After-lit'-web.jpg

Whether you own or rent your home, upgrading the lighting with ENERGY STAR certified fixtures and LED light bulbs is a great way to give a space an updated look when you’re renovating and it can save you money on your electrical bills for years to come.

To find out more about ENERGY STAR, you can visit ENERGYSTAR.gov – it’s a great resource provided by the Environmental Protection Agency where you’ll find all kinds of good information on how to choose and use ENERGY STAR products in your home. You can also visit ENERGYSTAR.gov/rebate-finder – the costs of LED bulbs has come down but you’ll find rebates on this site that can help keep costs down even more. 

You can also see the whole project in this video. Thanks to ENERGY STAR for helping make this project possible!

 
I really wish I could renovate my bathroom, but being a renter, doing a complete gut job and rebuilding from scratch wasn’t a possibility. The lighting, however, was definitely something that I could upgrade without changing out the existing lighting fixture. So I came up with a plan to change out the shades and to make my fixture more energy efficient.

'Before'-web.jpg

The first thing I did was swap out the incandescent light bulbs for ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs.

                 'Incandescent-bulb'-web.jpg'LED-bulb'-web.jpg

When you consider that a single ENERGY STAR LED bulb can save $75 in electricity costs over its lifetime, it makes the initial investment worth it. The cost of LEDs has dropped in recent years and there are many rebates are available – so they are more affordable than ever.

To select my new light bulbs, I first looked for the ENERGY STAR mark on the packaging or in the description online: or in the description online:

This mark means that the bulbs have undergone extensive testing for things like light quality and color plus they have a warranty of a minimum of 3 years, longer than most electronics!

With so many choices, choosing lightbulbs can be confusing, but looking for the ENERGY STAR helps me know which bulbs are a better investment. I ended up choosing candelabra bulbs to go with the long and narrow shape of the lampshades I designed. Even though I don’t have a dimmer for this fixture, I still purchased dimmable light bulbs, that way if I ever install a dimmer in the future, I’ll still be able to use the same light bulbs. You’ll know that the ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs you’re purchasing are dimmable when you see the word “dimmable” on the packaging:

'Dimmable-package'-web.jpg

The second part of the makeover was to replace the old shades with new ones. You can buy ready-made replacement shades at Home Depot or Lowe’s but I couldn’t find anything I liked so I designed my own mini drum shades. Since I’m using LEDs, the good thing is they give off a lot less heat, so I’m able to make my own shades with a plastic cutting mat, and not worry about burning the shades.

'New-shade'-web.jpg

I made them with 4” wooden embroidery hoops (7), 3/4” and 2” wide iron-on edging (birch) and flexible chopping mats, which came out to about $ 15 per shade. I made the drum shades in 2 parts: 1) the rings and 2) the shade.

Part 1: Rings

To make the rings, I glued the inner hoops of the embroidery rings together using wood glue to make 2 stacks of 2 hoops and 1 stack of 3 hoops. Then I used an iron to cover the outside of the rings with iron-on wood edging and I sanded the edges and the inside of the rings.

'Step-1'-web.jpg

'Step-2'-web.jpg

'Step-3'-web.jpg

I chose to finish the rings with a grey wood stain from Plaid, giving a couple of coats. I let that dry for a couple of hours and then sealed in the finish with white wax, wiping off the excess wax with a clean, lint-free rag.

'Step-4'-web.jpg

'Step-5'-web.jpg

The last thing to do with the rings was to drill 3 holes with a 1/8” drill bit, equally spaced out, at the top of the wider rings. This is for the screws that will attach the shade to the existing fixture.

'Step-6'-web.jpg

Part 2: The shade

To make the shade, I cut the chopping mat in half horizontally and cut it again so that it’s about 1/2” longer than the circumference of the inside of the rings. Then I added masking tape to mark the location of the middle ring and added clear double sided tape to the seam and where the bottom and middle rings will go.

'Step-7'-web.jpg

The last step was to form the shade and put on the rings. Then it was just a matter of drilling holes in the shade material, putting in the machine screws and then attaching the shades to the existing fixture.

'Step-8'-web.jpg

'Step-9'-web.jpg

'Step-10'-web.jpg

I love the way the new shades turned out and the new ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs are perfect to light up my bathroom.

'After'-web.jpg

'After-lit'-web.jpg

Whether you own or rent your home, upgrading the lighting with ENERGY STAR certified fixtures and LED light bulbs is a great way to give a space an updated look when you’re renovating and it can save you money on your electrical bills for years to come.

To find out more about ENERGY STAR, you can visit ENERGYSTAR.gov – it’s a great resource provided by the Environmental Protection Agency where you’ll find all kinds of good information on how to choose and use ENERGY STAR products in your home. You can also visit ENERGYSTAR.gov/rebate-finder – the costs of LED bulbs has come down but you’ll find rebates on this site that can help keep costs down even more. 

You can also see the whole project in this video. Thanks to ENERGY STAR for helping make this project possible!

 

Bathroom Design Ideas: DIY lighting fixture makeover

Looking for ways to remodel your bathroom on a budget? You can easily upgrade your bathroom lighting fixtures by swapping out the shades and incandescent ENERGY STAR LED light bulbs which will save you money on your electrical bills. You can buy ready made shades but I show you how to make your own DIY drum shades, much more fun!

Thanks to ENERGY STAR for helping out with this video! Don’t forget to join us on Oct. 29 for our DIY Lighting with ENERGY STAR Facebook chat! It’s at 4 p.m. EDT, #ENERGYSTARDIY

Here are the links I mentioned in the video:
www.energystar.gov/LED
www.energystar.gov/LED for a printable that will give you what you a complete list of the tools, supplies and materials that you need to take on this project and below is a list of the main materials I used:

Shade construction:
4” wooden embroidery hoops: http://bit.ly/1iUIM5a
Iron-on wood edging (3/4” wide): http://amzn.to/1PQEuX2
Iron-on wood edging (2” wide): http://amzn.to/1YII4s6
Double-sided tape (3M 200MP): http://amzn.to/1LHJXjn
Machine screws (#4 1 1/4” long)
Flexible chopping mats

Finish:
Plaid wood tint (Grey): http://bit.ly/1KYwcfz
Plaid white wax: http://amzn.to/1jnKZG9

Other ENERGY STAR Resources:

Energy savings at home: https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/home
ENERGY STAR Lighting Color Guide: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_color
Rebates Available in your area: https://www.energystar.gov/rebate-finder

Looking for ways to remodel your bathroom on a budget? You can easily upgrade your bathroom lighting fixtures by swapping out the shades and incandescent ENERGY STAR LED light bulbs which will save you money on your electrical bills. You can buy ready made shades but I show you how to make your own DIY drum shades, much more fun!

Thanks to ENERGY STAR for helping out with this video! Don’t forget to join us on Oct. 29 for our DIY Lighting with ENERGY STAR Facebook chat! It’s at 4 p.m. EDT, #ENERGYSTARDIY

Here are the links I mentioned in the video:
www.energystar.gov/LED
www.energystar.gov/LED for a printable that will give you what you a complete list of the tools, supplies and materials that you need to take on this project and below is a list of the main materials I used:

Shade construction:
4” wooden embroidery hoops: http://bit.ly/1iUIM5a
Iron-on wood edging (3/4” wide): http://amzn.to/1PQEuX2
Iron-on wood edging (2” wide): http://amzn.to/1YII4s6
Double-sided tape (3M 200MP): http://amzn.to/1LHJXjn
Machine screws (#4 1 1/4” long)
Flexible chopping mats

Finish:
Plaid wood tint (Grey): http://bit.ly/1KYwcfz
Plaid white wax: http://amzn.to/1jnKZG9

Other ENERGY STAR Resources:

Energy savings at home: https://www.energystar.gov/campaign/home
ENERGY STAR Lighting Color Guide: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls_color
Rebates Available in your area: https://www.energystar.gov/rebate-finder

Decorating a small balcony w/ smart LED outdoor lighting

I love my balcony and have been enjoying a lot over the past year, but one thing I felt was missing is some outdoor lighting to enjoy it in the evening. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out Lightify smart LED outdoor lights – they are really easy to install and you can turn them on/off, change their color to anything you want, and even dim them, all remotely using an app on your mobile device. It was the perfect finishing touch to my balcony and now I get to enjoy it even more!

Here are some links if you want to find out more about the Lightly products:

Lightify Gateway: http://amzn.to/1JcmksY
Lightify Gardenspot lights (14 ft): http://amzn.to/1YdmxaK
Lightify Gardenspot expansion lights (4.67 ft): http://amzn.to/1P01phQ

Thanks to OSRAM Lightify for sponsoring this video!

I love my balcony and have been enjoying a lot over the past year, but one thing I felt was missing is some outdoor lighting to enjoy it in the evening. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out Lightify smart LED outdoor lights – they are really easy to install and you can turn them on/off, change their color to anything you want, and even dim them, all remotely using an app on your mobile device. It was the perfect finishing touch to my balcony and now I get to enjoy it even more!

Here are some links if you want to find out more about the Lightly products:

Lightify Gateway: http://amzn.to/1JcmksY
Lightify Gardenspot lights (14 ft): http://amzn.to/1YdmxaK
Lightify Gardenspot expansion lights (4.67 ft): http://amzn.to/1P01phQ

Thanks to OSRAM Lightify for sponsoring this video!